8 signs you might be addicted to sugar (and how hypnotherapy can help)
While the term ‘sugar addiction’ may still be hotly debated, it’s hard to deny that for many of us, sugar plays too big of a role in our diets. According to current guidelines, UK adults should have 30g or less of sugar a day – that’s roughly seven sugar cubes, making up 5% (or less) of our total calorie intake. Yet a 2018 report found that many of us are consuming nearly three times the recommended daily allowance, risking health complications ranging from obesity to type 2 diabetes.
Whether you’re worried about your weight or are concerned you may have a food addiction, it’s important to know that there are signs you can look out for – and help is available. But what signs should you specifically be looking for, if you’re concerned your sugar intake is too high?
Signs you might have a sugar addiction
1. You eat sugary snacks even when not hungry
There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of a sweet tooth or treating yourself from time to time, but if you regularly find yourself eating sweet treats despite being full, this can be a warning sign.
2. You hide what you eat
Hiding any habit can be a sign that you know something is wrong, and are trying to stop others from recognising it. If you find yourself hiding the quantity or variety of foods you are eating, this could be a sign of an unhealthy relationship with food. Other signs to look out for can include eating until you feel uncomfortably full, sick, or unwell.
3. You find yourself needing more to satisfy your cravings
The more sweet things we eat, the higher our tolerance becomes over time. If you’ve found one glass of fizzy to feel satisfied has gradually turned into two or three, or a biscuit after dinner has become half a packet, these can be signs that you are needing to consume more and more sugar (or sugar-replacements) to get the same feeling of satisfaction.
4. You feel guilt or shame
Feeling negatively about any of your eating habits can be a sign that something is wrong, and you need help and support to deal with your relationship with food.
5. Cutting back or trying to change your diet leaves you with physical symptoms
If you find your diet varying from your normal eating patterns, certain signs of withdrawal or distress may begin to show if you have significantly cut how much sugar you are consuming. These can include having headaches, feeling tired or lethargic, craving or focusing on certain foods you are missing, trouble sleeping, bloating, and even muscle pain or nausea. People who have tried giving up sugar have reported particularly bad symptoms in the first couple of weeks of trying to cut back, showing that sugar could have a longer-lasting effect on how you’re feeling than you may realise.
6. You rely on sugar to feel better
When we’re feeling stressed, exhausted, or over-worked, it can be only natural to have something we fall back on to help us feel better. While the healthier option is to have a sustainable self-care routine that can help us to unwind and relax, for many, we develop habits we know are unhealthy. It’s easy to spot some of these vices – such as relying on a glass of wine to relax, or smoking to try and have a short break – but we may not realise when we are turning to food to deal with stress, boredom, depression, or anxiety.
7. You get bad skin breakouts
Consistent breakouts of acne can be a sign that you are having too much sugar. As explained by Nutritionist Resource, too many sugary foods or drinks can cause insulin spikes, which leads to inflammation throughout our bodies. This can result in collagen and elastin breaking down, which can, in turn, lead to premature ageing, and can even aggravate other acne-related conditions.
8. You feel lethargic or lack energy
Lacking energy can be a sign that you are experiencing sugar crashes. The more we eat sugary snacks, the more our bodies experience fluctuating blood sugar levels. After eating something sugar-filled, you may feel a temporary boost of energy. But this can be followed by a dip that leaves you feeling more tired than before. Eating too much sugar in the evenings before bedtime can also lead to problems with insomnia, experiencing broken sleep, or having trouble falling asleep at all.
How can hypnotherapy help?
Working with a qualified, experienced hypnotherapist can help you with a broad variety of issues that may be linked with your sugar cravings. If you are worried about your relationship with food, or want to specifically address the prominence of sugar in your diet, a hypnotherapist can help you to:
- Learn to recognise unhealthy behaviours, patterns, and habits. Over time, we can develop negative behaviours that we may not even recognise, falling back on these patterns to help us cope with other feelings or stressors. A hypnotherapist can help to uncover what these are, and teach your unconscious mind healthier ways of thinking.
- Help you to learn new tools and techniques to manage stress, anxiety, emotional eating, or emotional overload. Addictions can be a symptom of another underlying problem. With help and guidance, you can uncover areas that are affecting your life as a whole, and tackle these underlying areas to help make positive changes throughout your life.
- Teach you self-hypnosis techniques to reinforce new, more sustainable habits in between sessions. By learning the basics, you can help to better cement new ideas or behaviours, allowing for the positive benefits seen through your sessions to continue to flourish over time.
To find out more about sugar addiction, signs and symptoms, and different methods you can try to overcome it, check out our article, ‘Am I addicted to sugar and what can I do to help?’ Or find out more about addictions and food addiction.
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